Kojima's Weird World

Kojima's Weird World

Death Stranding's VGA trailer is certainly stirring excitement.

Well, that happened.

At last night's Video Game Awards Kojima stole the show with a strange look into his mysterious new project, "Death Stranding."

In the entirety of the gaming industry there are few creators quite like Hideo Kojima. The man behind the classic Metal Gear franchise has written and directed around 14 different projects over the course of his three-decade career working on video games. Each of these endeavours have been packed with cinematic action sequences, fascinating characters, and oftentimes bizarre melodrama. Kojima's scripts have always been delightfully strange trips down the rabbit hole of militarism, espionage, and the philosophy of the battlefield. Though at times his work can be heavy-handed and so damn surreal you will start to wonder if you took something before playing, he is undeniably and unabashedly creative.

Kojima's willingness to explore the odd and unpleasant is on full display in the second trailer for his upcoming game "Death Stranding": his first foray into the gaming industry after the hostile legal mess that was his expulsion from Konami. Now, with his own studio and a much deserved Industry Icon award in hand, he is prodding the excitement of fans the world over.

The first trailer, starring a nude Norman Reedus stranded alone on a beach strewn with the decaying bodies of marine animals, was so blatantly "Kojima" in its oddball artiness and deviously cryptic nature. Though it gave no real indication of what the hell was actually going on in the game, it managed to pique interest around the net. What was this weird new project Kojima was working on? Why is Norman Reedus buck naked on a beach of whale corpses? Am I high? If there is anything the man is talented at it is building curiosity in gamers.



With the VGA 2016 trailer that he premiered live last night, Kojima-san has outdone himself. If the first trailer was weird, then the second is downright nuts. Heaving synths pulse in and out of the background as Guillermo Del Toro -- the Mexican film maker behind dark fantasy horror films such as "Pan's Labyrinth" and the sci-fi Kaiju flick "Pacific Rim" -- traverses an oily landscape of more dead sea creatures while carrying a baby in some sort of artificial robotic womb. That alone is weird enough to have people puzzling over it for some time, but things only get more surreal from there. In just about five minutes the viewer is treated to a floating baby doll with a nail through its head, black tendrils slithering over a lifeless war-torn city, oozing worm creatures on a tank and actor Mads Mikkelson controlling a squad of undead United States soldiers from World War II.

Does that description sound absolutely insane? Then it is probably doing what it is supposed to. Despite how absurd it all seems, the trailer does come together quite nicely, building a sense of unease as it takes you through a small snippet of this new, dark world. Having watched the trailer about five or six times already all I can really say is that I have no idea what the hell it is, but I like it and want more. Kojima-san, you have my attention.


Cover Image Credit: Polygon

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Giving Up Snapchat

I gave up Snapchat for two weeks and learned the joy of being intentional

Everyday, I wake up and the first thing I do is grab my phone. It's not a conscious choice, it is wholly a habit. Despite having my notifications off, I still checked social media at least 25 times a day and I'm sure sometimes, even more. However, there is one app in particular, the only app I had notifications on for, that seemed to dominate my time on my phone. Snapchat.

Snapchat is awesome, I'm the first person to tell you that. It's a fun and easy way to communicate with all of your friends and even family. It's a quick way to update long-distance friendships on what's going on in your life. I used Snapchat to keep my best friend back home in the loop as to who I was hanging out with. While I was in Europe, I used Snapchat to keep in touch with my grandma.

Eventually, it became centered around keeping streaks, not being left on open and showing the world how much "fun" I was having through my stories. During winter break, I found myself constantly opening Snapchat because of the constant boredom.

Finally, I decided it was time to let it go.

I had wanted to delete Snapchat and all social media for quiet some time and I felt God was really placing it on my heart, but I wanted to be in the loop of what my friends were doing and God forbid I lose a streak. That's when I realized that I was compromising my own convictions for a number next to a person's name. How ridiculous is that? We've all been there. I know so many people who give their passwords out to a friend to do their streaks if they know they won't have data!

For two weeks, I decided to commit to no social media, including Snapchat.

Here's what I learned:

1. I had to be way more intentional about who I wanted to talk to. I realized there were several people I simply talked to to keep a streak. Actually texting someone to ask how they were was so much more personal.

2. I didn't realize how many times a day I reached for my phone to Snapchat someone something funny that had happened or a goofy picture. It was so weird at first to not have such quick access to send pictures or saving memories.

3. After a while, I started realizing I was living more in the moment instead of taking a picture of the moment to make a memory. I know that's super corny, but it is so true. I was so much more intentional with my time and interactions with people.

Did I decide to give up Snapchat for good after 2 weeks? No.

I'm back on Snapchat but it doesn't consume large portions of my time. I only watch stories that I care to see, I don't constantly reach for my phone to capture a moment and I don't even have the notifications on.

I've said I've been more intentional a lot and that's simply the biggest lesson I learned from taking a break from social media.

Live life more intentionally and stay present.

God's Blessings.

Cover Image Credit: Lutherwood

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8 Buzzfeed Quizzes To Take When You’re At The Peak Of Your Procrastination

“Which Melancholy Vegetable Matches Your Personality?” Yes, that is an actual quiz.

I am the queen of procrastination. One of the biggest contributors to my procrastination is that I get sucked into the world of Buzzfeed quizzes. From the “which (insert your favorite TV show) character are you?” to the most absurd “pick random foods and we’ll reveal a deep truth about yourself”, I quite often find myself going down the slippery slope that is Buzzfeed quizzes, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Here are a few quizzes to take when you should really be doing something productive.

1. This “Yes or No” Test Will Reveal Which State You Actually Belong In

Want to know where you should really be living? Need a change of scenery? Whether you want to just move out of where you are currently living or just pure curiosity this quiz will give you the true identity of where you should be.

2. Honestly Rate 20 Jobs, Then We’ll Tell You What Your College Major Should Actually Be

Still don’t know the answer to the “so what are you going to be doing with your life” question? Take this quiz and at least you can have an answer (whether you’re going to pursue it or not).

3. What Haircut Should You Actually Have?

Sometimes we all need a change and this quiz can just give you that little push that we all need.

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You may be getting perfect grades in school, but life is really there to just put you right back in your place honestly. (I got a D.)

5. What Age Are You Really?

Are you an old soul or forever young?

6. Which Pop Star Should Be Your Best Friend?

You never know when you might get famous so you have to figure out who you should hang out with once you make it up to life in Hollywood.

7. Everyone Has A Perfect Celebrity Mom And Here’s Yours

Sorry Mom, life with Taraji P. Henson is calling my name.

8. What You’re Doing Right Now Will Determine Where You’ll Be at the End of 2018

What do you have to look forward to at the end of this year?

Whether it’s because you have absolutely nothing else to do or because you have everything you can possibly imagine to do, Buzzfeed quizzes are a great use of your time...sort of.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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